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Seriously thinking about creating and selling online courses or programmes?  Want to do it the easy way and keep as much techy stress out of your life as possible?

Then you’re going to need a membership platform or plug-in that ticks all the boxes.


But before you pop ‘Best Membership Platform for Selling Online Programmes’ into Google and pick numero uno from page one, let me share some insights with you.  I’ve added many membership plug-ins to my clients’ websites and set-up several membership platforms – each of which have their own distinctive pros and cons. 


So, to save you heaps of research time, I’ve put together this article which highlights the top five platforms I would recommend (which, by the way, are in no particular order) you consider…

1. Simplero

As its name suggests, Simplero is easy to use (that’s a big yay from me!) and has great customer service (double yay – there’s nothing quite so annoying as waiting 24-48 hours for a response, is there?).  From email marketing (with pop-up forms, landing pages and autoresponders), your own website (yes, really!) and the ability to add your own branding into membership spaces to being able to sell any kind of info products, track your affiliates, take care of all your payments (even the recurring ones) and automate your marketing, there isn’t much Simplero can’t do. And I must say, I do have a soft spot for it.

As with most platforms, there is a free trial available so use it and see how easy Simplero feels to drive.  Once your 30 days are up, you’ll move onto a monthly payment which increases as your contact list grows (upwards of 1,000).

2. Thinkific

Thinkific is another simple, quick to create and get out there platform which offers all the kinds of features you would hope for.

  • Free, paid and subscription packages
  • Video and content hosting
  • Drip-feed content
  • Quizzes, exams, surveys and completion certificates for your students
  • Automated emails and built-in landing pages
  • Upsell and bundle offers

 Great for anyone who’s scared stiff of techy stuff and dead easy to add your branding to as well, which gives it that all-important professional feel.  It’s also reasonably priced.

3. Udemy

 Another potential platform where you can create and host your online courses or programmes and its popularity is on the up (there are currently 65,000 courses on Udemy as of April 2018). Where it differs from the other platforms I’ve mentioned is in its pricing.  For starters, you can create your course on Udemy for free.  If you refer a student to your programme (using your own code) you’ll receive 100% of the sales revenue. If Udemy introduces the student to your programme, you’ll share the programme fee with them – ie 50% each.  And if a student enrols on your programme thanks to one of Udemy’s paid ads, you’ll receive a quarter of the revenue share. It’s certainly worth looking into if you intend to create and host a selection of smaller, relatively inexpensive courses.

4. Memberpress

This is an all-in-one plugin for your WordPress website which takes care of every aspect of your membership subscriptions (creating, managing and tracking).  You’re in control of which members see which content (by granting and revoking access based on the package they’ve purchased) and you’ll be pleased to know that you don’t have to have a degree in coding to get you off the online programme selling starting blocks.

Monthly payment packages cater for the beginner to the seasoned pro, and it’s definitely worth some serious consideration if you’re easily bamboozled by anything tech-related.

As with the previous platforms mentioned, you can expect fantastic customer service support, customisable options, payment integration, autoresponders, drip-feed content and email reminders as well as tons of other features. If it’s something you’d like to find out more about take a look through the Memberpress FAQs – there’s a lot of valuable insights in there.

5. Wishlist

Just like Memberpress, Wishlist is an easy-to-use plug-in which can be easily integrated into your own WordPress website.  You can purchase a single site licence or a multi-site licence, rather than paying monthly instalments and enjoy plenty of key features, including:

  • Shopping cart and payment integration
  • Multi-level control access – who gets to see what and who doesn’t!
  • Unlimited membership levels
  • Sequential content delivery
  • A broad selection of training videos to guide you through the whole set-up and membership management process.
Hopefully, that’s given you a brief overview of what these platforms and plug-ins are about.  I’d always recommend you look at these in more detail before committing and use the free trials to test-drive the ones you’re serious about.  I’m a dab hand at setting up membership platforms, too, so if this is something you don’t have time to do then you know where I am.


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